Although national SEO emphasizes ranking in countrywide searches, local SEO focuses on emerging SERPs in a particular location. Local SEO is well suited for any business with a physical location or one that serves a particular geographic area.
The strategy depends on marketing your products, brand, and services to local customers and leads. Local brick-and-mortar stores such as law offices and restaurants need to use local SEO.
To best take advantage of local SEO, you’ll need to adopt small business website optimization for a particular local area. Investing in local SEO is an opportunity to get discovered by local consumers who are willing and ready to invest in your business.
This guide offers insight into what local SEO entails, how to rank for local SEO, and how to implement local SEO for small local businesses.
What is Local SEO?
If you want your website to be visible online, optimization is essential for search engines. That’s where SEO comes into play. Without an SEO strategy, your business could be missing valuable traffic – especially local prospects who don’t know your business exists.
Local SEO denotes a series of strategies local businesses adopt to enhance search visibility on search engines for local businesses to ensure people discover them offline and online.
Although it might sound complex, SEO at its core simply implies strategies that enhance sales through building visibility online. That is, you want to show search engines such as Google that your business is worth ranking for certain searches and terms.
In this case, it means implementing actions such as incorporating your city or town name as well as zip code in content, link building from local websites, and obtaining additional online reviews.
Here’s why local businesses need to adopt this tactic:
Higher Google Ranking
There’s a higher likelihood that consumers will search for services or information provided in their geographical area. This implies that keywords that help a business rank locally are frequently more useful than those that help a business rank nationally.
Sources cite that 76% of consumers who search for a business nearby on their smartphones visit them within a day, and 28% of these searches lead to a purchase. Therefore, your capacity to target local keywords is vital if you need to reach a local audience.
Conversion of Online Searches to Offline Purchases
Retail Dive conducted a survey revealing that 67% of consumers conduct online research before they shop in brick-and-mortar stores. Furthermore, an approximated 30% of traffic goes to sites that appear on the first page of search engines.
This implies that local businesses that emerge at the top of search rankings are armed with a massive competitive advantage. Local SEO ensures that your brand is discoverable by customers who search for local items particular to your niche, resulting in offline purchases.
Free Local Advertising
Local advertising is highly beneficial to all businesses. Local SEO is a type of local advertising that links customers to your site at no cost. The strategy permits you to include significant information regarding your website online, such as your business’s phone number and address.
Furthermore, you can promote the kind of services or products you provide on your site using SEO strategies. This helps enhance your business’s web exposure, which could make your business recognized among residents in the region. Since local SEO doesn’t incur charges to adopt, it’s deemed a free and efficient mode of online advertising.
How to Use SEO for Local Businesses
If you’re seeking to succeed in your local SEO endeavors, consider this SEO checklist for local small business websites.
Claim Business Listings
Once you create a business listing, you might notice duplicate listings over time. Ensure you claim all listings under your business’s name and eliminate any duplicates while ensuring the information on the remaining ones is precise and up to date.
Discovering all the listings might appear somewhat daunting, but some tools exist that simplify the process. If you have sufficient evidence of ownership, Google will grant you the authority and ownership, although it might take a couple of days.
Reviews are vital as ranking factors and permit your listing to stand out. If you can convince satisfied consumers to leave reviews for a positive experience, it can have a massive positive impact on your website’s visibility. You can only obtain positive reviews by offering good services and products to begin with, but the following tactics can help you increase review numbers:
- Offering incentives.
- Engaging and responding to current reviews.
- Asking for reviews at the appropriate time;
The review will enhance your ranking while simultaneously helping you tackle major constituents of conversion, such as clickthrough and conversion rates, as well as time spent on your pages.
Develop a Dedicated Webpage for Each Service or Product
While you can be tempted to lump all your services or products together on the same page, you want to avoid doing so. This approach will be counterproductive to local SEO. If you want to apply service or product schema to each service or product offerings, they must have their page.
This isn’t just a best practice in SEO because it helps paint a clearer sitemap for search engines. You’ll notice it opens the door to particular schema applications.
Your SEO results won’t be as effective if you lump everything into the same page since search engines won’t view your brand as an authority in a particular area. Consequently, this will lower your ranking. If your business lacks different services or products but has different locations, just use a location-based copy for an individual page.
Perform Link Building
Besides acquiring links from sponsorships and partners, the importance of link building for a business is undeniable. Perform link optimization to the best of your capacity by working to forge a relationship with local sites associated with your industry. Ultimately, you’ll earn links from high-authority sites; this will boost your rankings as well.
How to Rank for Local SEO Google Business Listings
A significant first step in any local SEO tactic is to claim and validate your business listing locally on Google.
This rank-focused local SEO checklist reveals a few excellent tips to consider:
Complete Business Information
Businesses with precise and comprehensive information in google my business SEO have a higher likelihood of ranking higher in Google searches. For this reason, make sure you complete all the business information in google my business for local SEO. This way, customers will quickly understand the services you provide, the operation hours, and your location.
The main goal here is to ensure listing optimization for relevance. In this case, you want to focus on offering precise and pertinent information for your target audience by:
- Offering complete and updated information
- Selecting the appropriate category
- Including precise business hours
- Including details on the service area
- Including relevant images and professional-looking photos
Optimization for Location Precision
The focus here is to ensure Google and its users can recognize your physical location accurately and properly. Try these key things:
- Include your full name and address information on all website pages
- If you have more than one business location, you can produce various location pages or a more detailed contact page
- Integrate Google Maps for each location
Integrate keywords in the description
Whenever possible, include the most pertinent google my business keywords and make sure you use them naturally. The last thing you want to do is force them; otherwise, you risk the likelihood of permanent account suspension because of the penalty-inducing offenses.
Include new Blog posts frequently
Google favors new, consistent, and updated content, so you want to post an update often and add photos. Ideally, you want to add content to a couple of posts once weekly. Also in social media, If you’re struggling to produce content, you could use evergreen content. Duplicate your posts on social media.
When uploading posts, you want to keep clients engaged and offer the information they seek. Adding posts regularly improves user experience and enhances value to your business profile.
Videos and Photos
Previously, the internet revolved around information and text, but visual appeal attracts people’s attention, and that implies videos and photos. The best thing about videos is that they don’t require sound; studies indicate that as much as 85% of Facebook users view videos without sound.
Numerous business proprietors mistakenly believe that you need to hire an expert company to incorporate videos into their content. This is untrue. You’ll be surprised to learn that some of the best videos and photos occur through a smartphone.
Keep in mind that including business photos is an excellent way of humanizing your brand and allowing your customers to understand what your company is about behind the scenes. When developing a video, it should last 30 seconds and take place at your business’s location. Furthermore, the content’s main subject should be associated with the business location. Otherwise, Google can eliminate the videos.
Steps to Optimize Local SEO For a Small Business
SEO plays a significant role in the success of a small modern business. If done poorly, it becomes virtually impossible for a small business to gain a following because of the difficulty of finding the business.
When done right, small businesses enjoy increased website traffic, revenue, and brand visibility. This yields stronger growth and increased sales opportunities. Once you’ve established the basics, some of the best local SEO strategies include:
Finding the Appropriate Keywords
Consider the terms your customers are likely to use when searching for your services or products online. Create a list of 20-50 keywords and use Google AdWords to confirm whether the terms you selected are used regularly in online searches. You’ll use the keywords on your website pages to attain a higher ranking when potential customers search using them.
Adopt Technical SEO
Technical SEO describes the process of your webpage’s structure, allowing crawlers to index and read your website properly. Even if you generate great content, issues with technical SEO will hinder your website’s capacity to attain high SERP rankings.
Therefore, you want to take stock of your content quality from a technical viewpoint. If you lack the expertise in aspects such as page speed, data structuring, and updating encryption protocols, consider the following:
Develop a sitemap and submit it to Google
Based on the tools used for your website building, you can use some plugins to develop a sitemap. For instance, you can use Yoast SEO, which produces a sitemap automatically and updates it when you publish new content. Subsequently, you can submit the sitemap to Google through Search Console.
Fix old and broken links
Beware that the SERP robots will demote your content if you constantly direct your reader to broken or outdated links. Experts assert that directing users to high-authority yield favorable results from Google’s rating algorithm
Use pertinent images with suitable captions. Ensure you adopt the ‘alt text’ segment to give the image’s description. Don’t forget to format your images and video content for the web – quicker loading speeds for your website can result in higher rankings.
Is SEO Worth it for Small Businesses?
One reason why most website owners decide to capitalize on SEO is due to the associated long-term benefits. However, when a small business needs to decrease the amount it is spending, marketing is often the first area to undergo cuts.
This results in many questioning whether SEO is worth the effort, money, and time. Here’s why a small business should adopt SEO strategies or hire affordable local SEO services.
SEO helps small business proprietors develop a quicker, smoother, and more user-friendly site. Several people still maintain the old definition of this term, believing that it’s only about optimizing search engines. Today, SEO is equally focused on enhancing user experience. Well-structured and uncluttered sites compel visitors to remain longer and reach pages of interest quicker, thus reducing the bounce rate and enhancing page views. On the same note, relevant content maintains reader engagement.
Improved Conversion Rates
SEO-optimized sites are easy to read, load quicker, and ensure proper display on virtually all kinds of devices, including tablets and mobile phones. You’ll also notice that these sites are easy to navigate and read – and subsequently draw more attention from visitors or readers.
That is, they have a higher likelihood of becoming your loyal subscribers, customers, and returning visitors while improving local SEO for business.
Increased Brand Awareness
Anyone inputting keywords pertinent to your business will have a higher likelihood of coming across your company while conducting searches. The more your business emerges in the SERPs, the more customers will become aware of your brand. This implies that there’s a high chance they’ll click on your website and consider doing business with you in the future.
Develop a Committed Fan Base
A good SEO approach implies additional traffic and a great means of building a committed fan base via email marketing. Email marketing emerged before social media and remains a significant source of revenue and traffic to date.
Numerous successful bloggers assert that most of their revenue originates from email lists rather than from social media or other mediums. While adopting SEO, ensure newsletter subscription is easy for users. You’ll discover it’s a great way of maximizing your investment return.
Remain in sync with current developments
Local search engine marketing is a fast-changing industry worldwide. You find that SEO practices and rules change constantly, and if you wish to sustain your SEO traffic and rankings, you must keep abreast of the latest developments.
You can do this in two ways: follow and make the necessary website changes to abide by the latest standards. If your budget allows, hire a dependable SEO company – part of their role is to offer advice on the latest developments and changes to search engines.
How Can I Learn Local SEO Basics?
You can access a wealth of information online where numerous topics exist regarding citations, reviews, and social media. You could also access extensive instructions, readings, and videos to test your knowledge from training courses available online. Other sources of information include:
These days, you can access various YouTube videos on SEO at no cost. This resource offers instructional guides while others feature interviews with experts. You can access videos ranging from a beginner’s level to advanced levels.
You’ll come across various social media accounts that offer information on SEO. Some offer insightful analysis on the topic, while others offer reviews.
You can access a range of courses online with certification. These courses offer considerable free materials from top institutions.
If you run a business and want it to be discoverable by prospective local customers online, you want to invest in local SEO efforts to increase its likelihood of survival, especially during these moments of a financial crisis.
This invaluable guide offers insight into the various aspects of the practice, from what it involves to how to rank for the business listing while evaluating whether it’s still worth it for small businesses.